The Geneva Environment Network’s weekly newsletter includes the latest information on the global environmental agenda, main events, job vacancies, learning opportunities, as well as other useful resources and updates. During the COVID-19 pandemic, some live events organized by organizations around the world, contributing to the global environmental agenda, have also been included. Stay tuned and follow us also on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Youtube, or visit our website regularly for additional updates.

Due to the developments in the sanitary situation, most institutions in Geneva continue operating virtually. Our update on COVID-19 and the environment lists relevant information, research, data, and press releases on the environmental origins and impacts of the pandemic.

Join Generation Restoration on World Environment Day

Action around the world is taking off as the UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration is about to be launched with World Environment Day 2021 – celebrated on 5 June, under the same theme. Ecosystem restoration can take many forms: Growing trees, greening cities, rewilding gardens, changing diets or cleaning up rivers and coasts. The global celebrations, hosted by Pakistan, will be held on 4-5 June 2021 through a virtual launch gala welcoming the Decade. UNEP Europe Office has developed a survey for youth (available in 22 languages), specifically addressed at European and Central Asian people aged 13-18 years old. #GenerationRestoration #WorldEnvironmentDay

In Geneva, opportunities to celebrate World Environment Day are plentiful through events hosted by international and local organizations, excursions in nature, and more. Discover all activities proposed by the Geneva Environment Network and partners on our dedicated webpage. Follow the movement, join generation restoration:

CITES Animal & Plant Committee

The 31st meeting of the CITES Animals Committee and the 25th meeting of the CITES Plants Committee are starting virtually this week. Both gatherings were originally scheduled to take place in July 2020. The Committees  will discuss the conservation and trade status of selected species of wild fauna and flora and address a wide-ranging number of scientific and technical issues relating to trade in CITES-listed wildlife. Plenary and joint sessions will be broadcast live in English, Spanish and French and will be viewable to the public on the CITES YouTube Channels.

Celebrating the Bicycle

World Bicycle Day – celebrated on 3 June – aims to advance the use of the bicycle as a means of fostering sustainable development, strengthening education, promoting health, preventing disease, promoting tolerance, mutual understanding and respect and facilitating social inclusion and a culture of peace. Various local and international organizations in Geneva are actively engaged in promoting bicycle as a sustainable mean of transportation, as well as safe conditions for bikers. Discover more in our update.

The first month of the 2021 edition of “Bike to work” is ending. There is still one more month to go and 31 May is the very last day to register if you would like to participate in June.

Fighting Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated Fishing

On 5 June, the world celebrate the International Day for the Fight against Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated (IUU) Fishing. This day reminds us of the threat that IUU fishing activities pose to the sustainable management of our marine resources, and encourages actors to continue efforts to prevent such activities.

In Geneva, important discussions are currently ongoing at the World Trade Organization (WTO) to eliminate subsidies that contribute to IUU fishing and overfishing, in order to achieve SDG 14.6, in the run-up the virtual ministerial meeting in July. Find out more about the issue and the organizations active in Geneva to end IUU fishing in our update.

Health and the Environment

The 74th World Health Assembly convening virtually under the theme “Ending this pandemic, preventing the next: building together a healthier, safer and fairer world” will conclude this week. As discussions  last week focused on ending the COVID pandemic and how to better prepare for the next one, many are pointing to the need to address the root environmental causes and halt the destruction of ecosystems. Read more in Geneva Solutions: Protecting nature to avert future pandemics.

On Saturday 29 May, Doctors For Extinction Rebellion met with the Director General of the WHO outside the World Health Assembly in Geneva, calling on health authorities worldwide to prioritize climate and biodiversity loss as a health priority.

What (Else) Should I Read Next?

  • State of Finance for Nature | UNEP, WEF | 26 May 2021
    If the world is to meet the climate change, biodiversity, and land degradation targets, it needs to close a USD 4.1 trillion financing gap in nature by 2050.
  • New climate predictions increase likelihood of temporarily reaching 1.5 °C in next 5 years | WMO | 27 May 2021
    There is about a 40% chance of the annual average global temperature temporarily reaching 1.5°C above the pre-industrial level in at least one of the next five years – and these odds are increasing with time, according to a new climate update issued by the WMO.
  • Environment and Conflict Alert – Gaza | PAX | 27 May 2021
    The third Environment and Conflict Alert on Gaza is exploring the use of explosive weapons in populated areas and subsequent environmental harm using earth observation data and open-source information.
  • Court orders Royal Dutch Shell to cut carbon emissions by 45% by 2030 | The Guardian | 26 May 2021 
    Dutch justice compels Shell to align its activities with the Paris Agreement by reducing its CO2 emissions by 45% by 2030. This case marks the first time a judge has ordered a large corporation to comply with the Paris climate agreement.
  • Galápagos tortoise found alive is from species thought extinct | BBC | 26 May 2021
    Scientists have confirmed that the giant tortoise discovered during an expedition in 2019 is from a species which was thought to have died out more than a century ago.
  • Chemicals and Waste Briefing | GEN | 27 May 2021
    This briefing, organized within the framework of the Geneva Environment Network, provided an overview of the status of the negotiations related to chemicals and waste and upcoming important conferences. Read the summary and/or watch the recording to stay updated.
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